102,700 Words!

And around 40,000 to go most likely. It is definately not a small story. But, with such a lovely word-count, I decided to post an excerpt (unedited) that I wrote yesterday.

The First Children are similar to the concept of the Aboriginal stories of spirits that were here in the Dreamtime, before humans. Generally animal spirits, these usually were wolves, crows, hawks, coyote, bears. The First Children are thought to be older than the Marasran in the universe of Inherent, and are generally very powerful. Many died in the wars against the Princes, the remaining ones are mostly guardians of large areas of land. The Silent Child is mentioned several times, and there will be pieces of First Child tales all through the book, sometimes furthering the plot, sometimes just there for insight into the surroundings and mythology.

This piece is late in Logrozana. I have not edited it yet, so it will be rough, and there is a little of the mythology to actually write still before I know for sure what Andralloia’s story is.

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The First Child wheels high on currents of air, caught in one errant strand that quests towards the wastes bordering the sea. She is the one who watches the Sarachagas from above, without rest or pleasure. It has been centuries since she settled to the earth, since she saw another living creature or knew the touch of anything but thin air or thinner threads of malevolent thought.

The Sarachagas stretches beneath her, far below, and she stares down at that sad sight, at the gentle curves and waves outlining the great body beneath her. White sand stained red, thighs and hips, swollen belly and whithered breasts, a captive queen. She was once a goddess, this whithering woman of sand, Hadajia’s sister. Andralloia, she was called, formed of the most beautiful things of earth and sky, more beautiful even than the Queen of Love, young and bright and strong. She was the goddess of defense, of strength, of hope.

The First Child was there the day the Sisters were summoned by the Marasran. She was there when the great ones bound fair Andralloia, when the dragons sang her to sleep and the lords bound ropes around her body and set her in the hole in the world where their little brother had gnawed away reality and the blight was spreading. She was there when the Princes were lured into Andralloia’s body and imprisoned in her belly.

Mortals could not walk into the Sarachagas. They would walk right past it, and the fear would be so great that they would never return, no matter how determined.

The Tortured One, the Marasran called her, and blood sacrifices were still offered to her from across the sea, sealing her mouth and womb so that the Princes could not escape.

The First Child wondered if Andralloia dreamed still, if her mind was free to wander the expanses of space and sing to the stars. She feared rather that the goddess was at the mercy of the Princes, her nephews.

Only the Marasran could open her lips, from which one Prince could escape, foul Morkiul the Liar. Only the Marasran could open her womb, and if that happened, the Princes would crawl from between her legs and rise newly born.

The First Child looks again, and sand shifts and writhes, and the body of Andralloia spasms. Her mouth opens, and the First Child does not wait to see more, but screams and beats her wings, frantically turning north.

A Prince has been summoned. There is still time. If she can warn them, if they can find a witch strong enough, if the Prince cannot find a strong enough body in time…

She is too late, and the sky falls away from her and she is tangled in webs which forbid her wings to beat. Her great body struggles in vain, and the Prince appears out of the darkness in front of her, laughing, and stands drinking in her screams. When he is finished learning all he can, he takes her body and slips into it like a pair of familiar trousers, and the webs fall away. An experimental beat of his wings, and Morkiul launches from the sand and soars into the sky.

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